Breaking News
More () »

Seattle Fire Department looking to recruit women, people of color, to fill vacancies

Currently, 93% of Seattle firefighters are men, and department leadership is overwhelmingly white, SFD Chief Harold Scoggins said.

SEATTLE — While attempting to fill 113 vacancies at the Seattle Fire Department, Chief Harold Scoggins said they're focusing on recruiting more women and people of color.

Currently, 93% of Seattle firefighters are men.  

"The leadership of our organization is overwhelmingly white. That's the fire service in general," said Seattle Fire Chief Harold Scoggins.

Assistant Chief at Kitsap Fire and Rescue Kara Putnam said she's also seen a lack of diversity over the course of her 14-year career.

"I'm the first female Chief Officer at my organization, Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue, as well as Kitsap County," said Putnam.

She says early on she had to overcome hurdles like proving she could do the job. But today she does see progress.

"We just hired four brand new female firefighters, and so what I would like to be is a role model for them and to let them know you can find access to a leadership role in the fire service. You can be successful," Putnam said.

Chief Scoggins said the Seattle Fire Department is also working to be a place where women and people of color can see themselves in station leadership and said the department is seeing progress when it comes to new recruits. 

"About 35% of our population that completed the process is actually people of color," he said. 

Chief Scoggins added, "when I got here seven years ago, we had nine deputy chiefs and none of them were women. Today four of them are women. So I can look at the ranks and I can see it." 


Before You Leave, Check This Out